What Is Google Docs Strikethrough?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 30, 2021 | Published January 5, 2021

Updated June 30, 2021

Published January 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Google Docs is a cloud-based word processor that offers a variety of useful formatting and composition tools. Professionals, students and casual writers alike can use the font options on Google Docs to emphasize, organize or add subtext to preexisting content. In this article, we explain what strikethrough is, when to use it and answer some common questions about this tool.

Read more: What Is Typography? Terms, Rules and Why It's Important

What is strikethrough in Google Docs?

Strikethrough is a font effect that allows users to cross out a selected word or phrase with a horizontal line that doesn't completely hide or erase the original text. Document owners and collaborators with the proper editing permissions can add the strikethrough effect to all previous content or compose new content with this effect already applied.

For example, this is a strikethrough.

Why would I use strikethrough?

There are a variety of reasons you might use strikethrough in a document. Here are some examples of how to use strikethrough for individual and collaborative projects:

Supervise progress

If you're fond of to-do lists, you can use strikethrough to indicate you've completed a task. Strikethrough can also help you mark what you've already read if you're working with a long document, or it can function as a reminder about text that needs to be rewritten or deleted.

Illustrate and eliminate wordiness

Use strikethrough to show collaborators how to say something more clearly and concisely. Whether you're writing a group assignment for school, outlining a pitch for work or editing your colleague's or supervisor's report, you can use strikethrough to communicate your suggestions on certain content. Some professionals in editing roles, such as for the media, may use strikethrough as a tool in the editing process.

Turn text into subtext

While being explicit is always important in writing, there might be times when including certain information is a lower priority to other information. Add strikethrough to presentation notes in Google Docs to avoid presenting unnecessary or tangential information. This text can remain in the document and function as subtext to the presentable information, making it a good tool for individuals or teams who will have to answer questions after a presentation.

Evolve ideas

If you're dealing with complex ideas in your document, consider using strikethrough to rewrite and amend concepts that need further development. Including previously drafted content next to revised content can showcase the evolution of an idea and the work that went into developing it.

Read more: How To Structure a Project and Types of Project Organization

Can I use strikethrough in other applications?

Strikethrough is not exclusive to Google Docs and can be used throughout the Google Suite, like in Google Sheets, Google Slides or Google Forms. Most other word processors, like Microsoft Word, and some workplace communication apps, like Slack, have a strikethrough function as well. Here are a few ideas for other ways to use strikethrough:

Read more: How To Create a Google Docs Resume

Strikethrough in Google Sheets

Striking through text in a spreadsheet can function as a way to mark something off your to-do list, or it can illustrate which expenses have been paid on a budget spreadsheet and which are still outstanding.

Read more: How To Create a Google Spreadsheet

Strikethrough in Google Slides

Using strikethrough in a slideshow presentation can be a good method for inserting comedy into your presentation, keeping it lively for your audience. A strikethrough line on a quote can illustrate how much you dislike or disagree with the quote, and adding a strikethrough animation over your own ideas could add a bit of self-deprecating humor to your presentation while illustrating your thought process.

Read more: How To Give a Good Presentation

Strikethrough in messages

You can also use the strikethrough shortcuts in an email, Google Chat or Slack message if you are trying to show a coworker which edits you made in their work or your own work.

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